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Creative Ways to Boost Employee Motivation

Posted by Chris Fields

HR understands that employee engagement is also tied to employee happiness, job satisfaction, morale, and motivation. The more you engage your employees and keep morale high, the more likely your employees will be happy, satisfied, and motivated to give their best and perform at their highest level.

According to a 2015 Gallup poll, employee engagement is at 32%. Though this figure has increased slightly since 2013, 68% of all employees remain disengaged, tasking HR professionals to find creative ways to inspire and sustain employee motivation.

Unmotivated workers are less productive. Lost productivity costs and failed motivation techniques cost employers billions of dollars.

Finding ways to motivate employees has stumped Human Resources professionals for years. There are certain obvious motivators but they only work marginally, for instance, money, time off, and free food. Did you know that none of those things are in the top 5 motivating factors for the majority of employees?

Most articles on how to increase employee motivation and engagement includes the following:

  • Communication – having open lines of communication with the boss
  • Recognition – being acknowledged for a job well done
  • Rewards – receiving some type of unexpected reward or gift
  • Contributions – being able to contribute or be a part of the organization
  • Appreciation – a simple thank you

For this particular article, I decided to conduct my own research by sampling a group of managers, directors, HR professionals and employees in my personal network. I asked them two very simple questions:

  • What motivates you as an employee?
  • How do you motivate your employees?

The results varied, however, there were consistent themes throughout the responses. The answer to the first question can be best summed up by the following:

What motivates you as an employee?

  1. Freedom to perform the job
  2. Achieving corporate goals
  3. Job fulfillment
  4. Trust
  5. Respect

The answer to the second question was more expansive:

How do you motivate your employees?

  1. Show employees respect and appreciation
  2. Create avenues for open communication
  3. Provide tangible results and metrics
  4. Foster a team atmosphere
  5. Don’t micromanage­­—trust employees to work independently

Great information, but how can you bring engagement to life in the workplace? Here are some tips to help you with this task.

Care about your employees’ career goals.  Give them bigger projects and opportunities for advancement. Even if that means helping them find their dream job outside of your organization.

Care about your employees’ work-life balance. Offer gym memberships, employee assistance plans, flexible benefits, flexible schedules and remote working opportunities.

Don’t throw them under the bus. We all make mistakes so when your employees fail, do not send an email blast announcing it to everyone, don’t blurt it out during a conference call and don’t engage in shouting matches. Remember to praise in public and criticize in private.

Provide as much security as possible. This includes securing their personal information, providing physical security in the office, and, of course, job security.

Perform random acts of kindness. Buy your employees lunch, give them gift cards, write them thank you notes. There are many ways to be kind to your employees, choose one.

Encourage innovation. Challenge yourself and your team to use advancements in technology to make work easier and better. Implement and celebrate the best ideas. You may be surprised at the brilliance of your employees.

Promote camaraderie through social media. Use Snapchat, Instagram stories or Facebook Live to have a little fun at work, and use those playful filters!

Encourage everyone to have a sense of humor. Who isn’t motivated by bosses who can poke fun at themselves? Initiate light-hearted workplace events and contests, such as a silly costume competition or pajama day and pretend all is normal.

Remember, no one knows your employees like you do. Think about what’s important to them and create a climate where employee motivation is a constant.

Let us know what you think of these suggestions or share your own in the comments below.

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About Chris Fields

Author

Chris Fields is an HR professional and expert resume writer with more than 13 years of experience as a former practitioner and current HR consultant. He is the curator of two websites: CostofWork.com and ResumeCrusade.com, and contributes HR-focused content to many others, including PerformanceICreate.com, eSkill.com and SmartRecruiters.com.

3 COMMENTS Join the discussion
  • Nathalie February, 15, 2017

    There’s a sensitive subject here. Because we need to take into consideration both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. I think one way to do it is to tell them from the very beginning “You are free to offer your suggestions” and let them know they are not restricted in their creativity. And yes, it is amazing to see that free food, time off and money are not among the first motivator factors. MKany times, a sincere ‘Thank You’ note or “Good Job” is enough to increase the moral of your colleagues.

  • Tom S. February, 15, 2017

    Great subject. There are so many creative ways to boost the employees’ energy that we constantly need to challenge ourselves and come up with competitive offers. For example, in our company we implemented a dream board for each employee and depending on the employee results after a year, we help him/her achieve one of the goals there. I think there’s no other better motivation than contributing to their own dreams.

  • Madison February, 15, 2017

    I like what Tom said in his comment. The very important thing we need to know is the employee personal goals and help him/her achieve them. Another idea to keep the employees motivated is to appreciate them and make them feel they are not robots. By fostering a team atmosphere with monthly teambuilding or extra-office activities, you will keep up a good team spirit which will increase the general motivation and energy in the team.

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